South Africa player Quinton de Kock opted out of the T20 World clash against the West Indies as he refused to take a knee in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. De Kock’s decision came after Cricket South Africa (CSA) ordered its players to do so hours before the match.

Talking about the CSA’s directive hours before the match, South Africa cricket team captain Temba Bavuma said ‘it wasn’t ideal’. As for De Kock, the captain promised to be there for him.

“Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions,” Bavuma said at a post-match conference.

Lending full support to the wicketkeeper, the captain said: “As far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players. He’s still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates, we’ll be there for him.”

“If there’s a need for further conversations to be had, I’m sure those will definitely happen among the guys.”

“Obviously, as a team we’re surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat,” the captain said.

“But the role he plays from a senior point of view and from an experience point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to.”

Talking about what the future holds for De Kock and Cricket South Africa, the skipper said: “I think we have to keep focusing as much as we can on the team, most particularly about matters on the field. I think we’ll lose a lot of energy as players if we start giving 100% to everything that is, I guess, being discussed outside of the team.